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City of Troy needs more gynecologists. Can university help?

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Prathiba Gautam

Staff Writer

The city of Troy has a total of one practicing obstetrician/gynecologist. When more than 52 percent of the 19,000 or so people are women, one is not enough for any women-centered service provider. 

As a reference, a Google search of “hair salons in Troy AL” has more than 20 results. Besides his private practice, the one available doctor also offers services through the Troy Regional Medical Center, which, according to reviews online, has been named “Edge of Death.” 

It is a universally acknowledged truth that a woman suffering from any gynecological illness will be prescribed birth control pills. The absurdity that is the lack of advancement in women’s reproductive health in the age of 3D printed body parts and gene therapy is a topic for a different discussion. 

It is just as ridiculous to see that many women in developed countries are deprived of even the most basic care. 

The only other facility, within the city, on the list suggested by the Troy University Health Center happens to be Sav-a-Life, a religious facility that does not have any means or rights to provide medical services. This also means that Sav-a-Life is not obliged to give accurate information to its visitors. This is the bleak picture of women’s health care services in Troy. 

Sure, there are services around Troy; cities like Montgomery, Enterprise and Dothan have a few clinics. However, not everybody has the time or the resources to make 30- to 45-minute drives multiple times for these appointments. 

For a half-hour appointment, a college student would have to take a minimum of two to three hours out of their class and work schedule. This time loss, over the course of a few appointments, can cause significant academic and economic damage. 

Furthermore, not everybody in Troy has a car; many international students and even American students rely on the university shuttle services to go around the city. These students are faced with more hurdles than there should be to access basic health services.

Medical help is one of the most basic needs, yet it is so blatantly ignored. Even where services are available, they barely cover pregnancy issues. It is important for people to realize reproductive health is not limited to pregnancy. There is more to a woman’s body than just childbearing. 

While it is unreasonable for the university to fix the city’s problem, it is also a problem 60 percent of the student body faces. It is practical to expect the university to have a gynecologist, or a consultant more qualified than a general practitioner, certain days a week.